MotoGP: Marquez looking forward to 2016

Repsol Honda Team rider Marc Marquez during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix at Twin Rings Motegi.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Reigning MotoGP world champions Marc Marquez and Honda have started focusing on the 2016 season, realizing it will be difficult to contend with heavyweight Japanese rival Yamaha with just three races to go in the season.

Marquez’s ambition to win three consecutive titles has been marred by a crash-prone season, which has seen him tumble out in five of the 15 races.

The championship battle is now a Yamaha fight between Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, who are separated by 18 points going into Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

While Marquez has not written off his chances this weekend, he admits that next year’s championship is now in focus.

Marquez has won the MotoGP championship in 2013 and ’14. Honda is building a new RC213V for 2016, when MotoGP switches to the different characteristics of Michelin tires (from Bridgestone) and control ECU software.

"Now my head is more on next year’s pre-season, although there are still three races this year, so we are looking forward to finish these three races on the podium," Marquez said.

"We will see if we can win or not because it looks like both Yamaha riders are really strong, and I think Jorge will be really fast from FP1 every weekend.

"So we will try to be there on the podium, be competitive and finish the season in a good way."

Marquez will race, as he did in Japan last Sunday, still recovering from surgery to his left hand, after fracturing a bone in a mountain bike accident.

"The hand is much better," Marquez said. "Now it’s fine.

"In Japan it was painful, but here I think will be better. Still, I will use the special handlebar that we have and try to be competitive from the beginning

In his two previous MotoGP visits Marquez has never won at Phillip Island.

"I look forward to this weekend because Phillip Island is one of my favorite tracks," Marquez said.

"Maybe we were unlucky in the last seasons, but it is a special track."